The first time I went to Ghana was in April 2009 with my mother. Right after my sister’s wedding, and as a reward for being a good minion to my mom’s overlord, I was treated to 4 days with her in Ghana. It was our first trip together where it was just us two and honestly I wasn’t sure how it would go but I was hopeful. We were really excited and made lots of tentative plans for what we would do once we got to Ghana.
I remember falling asleep on the way to the airport, in the airport lounge, on the plane and in the taxi to our hotel in Accra. To be fair, it was super early in the morning (our flight was at 7am and we had left the house at 5am). When we got to the hotel, I think we had a look at some of the activities the hotel had on offer and agreed we would do something like go to a national park the following day. And then we had a nap…and woke up at 7pm! We went down for dinner and then resolved to be more active and better tourists the following day. After dinner, we went for a lie down and woke up the next morning at 10am!
When we woke up we saw that the hotel staff had a left a note under the door, saying that someone had been trying to call the room (turned out to be my father) but in the first instances the phone just rang without being picked up and then the phone stopped ringing and gave a busy tone like someone took the phone off the hook. I looked at my mom – I wasn’t close to the phone and I do not sleepwalk. So she must have been the culprit. We rang Dad back, assured him we were ok and started our day.
Alas, it was too late to make our way to the national park so instead we decided to visit Accra and sample what it had to offer. We started with the national museum. I remember falling asleep on the way to the museum. I don’t remember much of the museum apart from eating kenke in the museum restaurant and then falling asleep in the car afterwards on the way to the famous Woodin shop, where we bought some fabric. We were both still feeling quite sleepy but I refused to let the day end there. So I asked our driver to take us to Independence Square.
We both fell asleep and when we woke up we were back at our hotel. The driver explained that we dropped off to sleep almost as soon got into the car and given our previous form for the day, he thought it best to simply take us back to the hotel. We appreciated his thoughtfulness and went to sleep at the hotel. We woke up for dinner and then went back to sleep.
I don’t really remember much else of Ghana from the trip. I remember one day taking a walk with mom around the area our hotel was situated. But that’s it basically. My strongest memory of my first time in Ghana is of being asleep. And yet it was a wonderful time of bonding with my mother, just chilling out with each other. Maybe we were drugged. Maybe we were just that exhausted from the wedding festivities. Maybe everyone just needs a sleep break every once in a while.
No matter the case, I will always look fondly on that first trip to Ghana as the defining point in my relationship with my mother where I saw she could be a friend as well as a mom, a companion and a confidante, not just a parent. And now we’re doing Ghana again. This time, no sleep allowed. We resolved to see and document everything we could,starting at the airport, and then in the plane, and even the clouds! Ghana 2015 would be a real and conscious experience. Stay tuned! Highlights of Accra coming to the blog on Wednesday!